A Guide to Perfect Pesto + Garlic Shrimp Pesto Pasta

Garlic Shrimp Pasta with Pesto

Pesto is and will always be my favorite sauce/condiment/flavor in the world. It’s so versatile. From pesto pasta (see recipe below), to pesto pizza, to even using it as a salad dressing, pesto just goes with anything.

If you checked out my blog post last week, where I made a Pumpkin Cilantro Pesto, you know that I’ve been looking for creative ways to amp up my pesto game. And there are so many ways to do it! From using dandelion greens to kale, and from using traditional pine-nuts to almonds, it’s easy to create a gourmet pesto if you follow the right greens to cheese to nuts ratio.

This is why I’ve created my Perfect Pesto Guide to help all you pesto Shefs out there get the right proportions down when it comes to swapping out ingredients to make that signature creative pesto of yours.Basic Recipe Guide for the perfect pesto

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Pumpkin Seed Cilantro Pesto

Pumpkin Seed Cilantro Pesto Ingredients

My pantry is taking over my life. Each time I open my pantry doors, I anticipate something to fall out and spill all over my kitchen floor. What will it be this time? The high-mountain green tea my Mom brought me from Taiwan? Or the canister of Greek olive oil from Santorini that I carried with me for a whole month while backpacking through Europe?

I really need to start organizing my life and use up all these ingredients. One thing about being an avid cook is that the ingredients really do pile up. For example, I have a hefty 1 lb bag of pumpkin seeds that’s been sitting in there for quite a while, from which I’ve only used a few cups worth for my 7 Ingredient pumpkin spice granola. Living in a tiny studio apartment, space becomes real precious. Time to use up those pumpkin seeds!

Pumpkin Seed Cilantro Pesto I’ve actually been fiending for pesto lately. But I wanted to make something creative, not just the usual basil and pine nuts combo. Recently, I had an amazing pumpkin seed salsa from my favorite vegan restaurant in San Francisco. The flavor in this thing was pure umami. The salsa was indescribably nutty, deep, slightly smoky, and creamy. I never knew that pumpkin seeds could taste like that! Thus, I was inspired. Rummaging through my fridge I search for what I could use as the green part of the pesto. To my surprise, I find a huge bunch of cilantro that I’d completely forgotten to use for a Spanish Chicken dish I made for supper on Sunday. Don’t you hate when that happens? Luckily, it inspired me to make this Pumpkin Seed Cilantro Pesto. Continue reading